Three days in Rome

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
1
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
10
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
3
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
2
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
10
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
10
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
62 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Europe
country
Italy / Vatican City
Length of time
3-4 days
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 350
Time of year visited
January
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
182nd/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 60% SUMMARY RATING: Great experience

Summary

One of the most famous cities in the world and, when I think about my “Culture” rating, arguably the most culturally rich city in the world as well.  I’ve visited Rome twice and, despite my love for all things Roman history, it was at a time when I didn’t get as much out of the city as I’d wished to have and so I won’t write a detailed review.  Instead, as I look back on my visits there, I’ve shared below some high level tips to hopefully steer you in the right direction

highlights

#1 Must Do - The Colosseum. One of The 7 Wonders of the World and one of the key sites to gain a feel for the Roman Empire

#2 Must Do - Saint Peter's Basilica. The largest cathedral in the world with the Piazza san Pietro in front of it makes for a stunning sight.  Be sure to also to climb to the top of the dome for some cool views on the interior and the best views over Rome from the roof

#3 Must Do - The Vatican Museums. The sheer amount of art can be overwhelming, but the Sistine Chapel is one of those things you just have to see.  Expect long queues unfortunately

#4 Must Do - The Pantheon. One of those sights that blows you away when you realise that it is almost 2000 years old and STILL is the largest unreinforced dome in the world

#5 Must Do - The Trevi Fountain. Stunning and in a central point that makes you feel nicely lost in Rome

OTHER - the Roman Forum is a must for Roman History Fans, but I appreciate not for everyone

OTHER - The Spanish Steps, a must for the Instagrammers out there

OTHER - the Circus Maximus. Requires a bit more imagination for what it used to be like, but the huge layout is nonetheless impressive

OTHER - the hundreds and hundreds of churches spread across Rome

Travel Tips

  • Reduce the pace – Rome has so much to see that you can easily burn yourself out with all of the temples and ancient Roman ruins.   Instead, focus on a few key highlights, hopefully that you’ve had a chance to read up on, and ultimately enjoy them more
  • Highlights – the spots I loved and would say are musts are:
    • The Colosseum– one of The Wonders of the World.  Make sure to pay to enter to get a feel for inside
    • Saint Peter’s Basilica – the largest cathedral in the world with the Piazza san Pietro in front of it makes for a stunning sight.  Be sure to, of course, enter the cathedral, but also to climb to the top of the dome for some cool views on the interior and the best views over Rome from the roof
    • The Vatican Museums – the sheer amount of art can be overwhelming, but the Sistine Chapel is one of those things you just have to see.  Expect long queues unfortunately
    • The Pantheon – right in the heart of Rome so no doubt you will visit, the Pantheon is one of those sights that blows you away when you realise that it is almost 2000 years old and STILL is the largest unreinforced dome in the world
    • The Trevi fountain – just beautiful and join everyone else by contributing to the €3000 a day into the fountain
  • Others:
    • If at all interested in Roman History, the Roman Forum is a must.  Also consider when near the Colosseum and the Forum, to check out the Circus Maximus.  It needs a bit more imagination, but still impressive to think of the spectales that went on here
    • The Spanish Steps – a must for the Instagrammers out there
    • Its hard to recommend any further churches because there were just so many!
  • Food – you need to do a little bit of research online because the idea that Rome will be full of great food isn’t quite true.  There are heaps of great places, but there are also just so many tourist traps that you often have to chose between the view in a famous square, or a great place down a side alley.  Have a research and only follow the tourist hoards if you’re ok with poor food
  • Time of year to visit – I’ve been in winter and in summer, both were enjoyable
  • Rome is all about the historical context of Ancient Rome and The Renaissance.  If you know absolutely nothing about either, that’s fine as you can still enjoy looking at the beauty of the Renaissance art or the impressive Ancient Roman structures, but I promise you that you will have a better experience if you do even 30mins of research into the context before your visit to any of the key sites.  For Roman history, I actually find that there are few books out there that are well written enough to be enjoyable for someone not already interested in Roman history, although SPQR by Mary Beard is close to it.  Instead, I think TV actually does it best – the Rome TV Series is excellent; as is the Roman Empire Series that has 3 seasons each 4-6 episodes long focusing on Commodus, Julius Caesar and Caligula; and, of course, the movie Gladiator.  If you are indeed super interested in Roman History though, I cannot recommend more highly The History of Rome podcast which blitzes everything else into the second league . . . but is 160 episodes

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone